The U.N. reports that at least 1,075 people — 757 of them civilians — have been killed in Iraq in June. U.N. spokesman Rupert Colville noted Tuesday that 1,075 "should be viewed very much as a minimum."
Sunni militants fighting for the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria have taken over most of Iraq's western front in recent weeks, capturing major cities like Mosul and Tikrit along the way. Last night, ISIS fighters took full control of Iraq's largest oil refinery after 10 days of fighting with Iraqi troops. ISIS has promised to attack a Shiite shrine in Samarra and march on to Baghdad. This map, from the BBC, illustrates the scope of the crisis:
Secretary of State John Kerry is currently in Iraq to meet with leaders and rush a political solution to the problem of sectarian violence. He said yesterday, however, that President Obama may not wait for a new, multi-sectarian government to form before taking military action in the country. (Airstrikes are a possibility, but Obama has maintained that he will not deploy combat troops.)
A new Washington Post/ABC News poll shows that Americans are essentially split on whether or not we should launch airstrikes to target ISIS militants: 46 percent say no and 45 percent say yes. However, if you break that down by political party, 58 percent of Republicans favor airstrikes while just 44 percent of Democrats do. The split between men and women is similar — men want action; women don't. Overall, 52 percent of Americans disapprove of the president's handling of the crisis so far.
[Image via AP]